A Profile of an EvenStart Child

The EvenStart program is designed specifically for children emonstrating vulnerability and risk associated with poverty, childhood trauma, attachment disorders, physical/sexual abuse, and neglect of basic human needs.
The types of impoverished background of the children that we serve, are sometimes associated with prenatal and perinatal conditions such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), cocaine addiction, prematurity, and failure to thrive, which compounds the effects of a compromised environment on a child’s development.
Beginning life with these health
and developmental problems
further limits the child’s ability to handle the stresses associated
with a sometime chaotic home environments. These realities effect the types of experience a child has. This is turn, can adversely effect brain development.
At EvenStart, we focus both on the child’s development and the family’s resources
as a whole.

Early Childhood / Special Needs Overview

The effects of a traumatized start in life, on child development, especially in the first three years of life, are well documented by Dr. Bruce Perry as an internationally recognized authority on children in crisis (http://www.childtrauma.org/CTAMATERIALS/incubated.asp ).

Traumatized children may experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resulting in increased muscle tone,
increased temperature, increased startle response, (i.e., a constant ‘fight or flight’ syndrome).
Such children have no resting heart rate, decreased sleep regulation and decreased cardiovascular regulation.

Difficulties in regulating a child's physiological state are associated with emotional and behavioral problems. The children we serve at EvenStart are easily upset and often unable to calm themselves (i.e., self-regulate). If they experience inconsistent caring strategies in their homes, they are further limited in their ability to develop emotional and behavioral control. When their lives are inconsistent, they have difficulty developing stable concepts of cause-and-effect.

The EvenStart Preschool program is a stable place where they can experience consistent and rewarding interactions. It is designed to proved a safe, predictable, and supportive environment.

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January 2014 ; Content Copyright 2001-2014
EvenStart For Children Foundation - Charitable Organization #85085 8382 RR0001